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Have a go! A novice’s experience of building active speakers

Recently I’ve gained a lot of satisfaction from building speakers, passive and now active, so I decided to write this article hoping that it might help other novice builders take the plunge to build and to also thank KJF for the advice they give.

A couple of years ago my CD player failed and in searching for reviews of current players I discovered the DIY audio community and Full Range speakers.

The whole idea of of a minimalist approach to hifi intrigued me, so after some dithering (I am crap at woodwork) and reading many useful articles in the community I took the plunge and built a pair of Pensils with Alpair 7.3s…WOW, I was blown away, as has everybody else who has listened to them.. 

A couple more builds for my adult children increased my confidence and abilities and then needing a cure for the lockdown blues I decided to upgrade my “home office” to be cable free –  which meant I needed to step up to active speakers, adding the challenge of electronics, or so i thought.

But there are loads of built boards available – which negates the need for electronics skills, the problem then becomes which one to choose. What clinched it for me was KJF selling what I needed, from my past passive builds I know that you only have to ask KJF for advice and they give it, freely and quickly, a great example of the benefits of “buy local”.

So I added a 40mm compartment to the bottom of a Sasquatch design for the Alpair 7MS, to house the Arylic Up2 stream amp board, attached the board to a cut down table mat (so I could easily remove it),  fitted it and flicked the switch – fantastic, I don’t know how such a small driver can generate music so well, and only a power cable to one speaker and a connecting cable between the speakers..

I didn’t think of writing an article until I had finished the build, so I only have a couple of snaps to share, you will see that the vent is unusually not at ground level and you should be able to make out the compartment for the board in the WIP and rear view pictures.

Cabinet kits are now available in the UK, but even though I know my speakers look homemade  I wanted to take on the challenge of the woodworking skills and each pair I’ve built has been an improvement on the previous, and that’s part of my satisfaction.

HAVE A GO, you won’t regret it

Thanks to


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